Claire Richards' bandmates Step in to get her through 'grueling dance routines' following weight gain
15:03 GMT, 12 March 2012
Her weight has yo-yoed over the years since leaving Steps.
But now that they are back together, Claire Richards' bandmates apparently worry she is so big, she will be unable to complete the reunion tour.
Lee Latchford-Evans, 37, who has been working as a personal trainer, is trying to whip the 34-year-old into shape so she can join the group's dance routines.
Fuller figured: Steps are reportedly worried member Claire Richards won't be able to join in on the dance routines for their reunion tour because she was put on weight
Steps begin the tour in Belfast on April 2.
source told the Daily Star: 'Claire has always had a problem with her
weight and at the moment she’s heavier than she was last year.
'It’s a concern for the others because they want to put on the best show ever and that includes some big dance numbers.
Claire can’t keep up then it’s going to look a mess. We want it to to
be all right on the night and we’ve got a battle on our hands.'
The singer's spokesman confirmed to the Mail Online that the band were putting her through her paces, but insisted they weren't worried about her ability to perform.
'The whole band are helping Claire. But Lee in particular is using his expertise to
routines are particularly grueling but Claire is working really hard and
getting on top of it all.
band are not one bit worried about her not being able or ready for the first
night on April 2.'
Mellow yellow: Claire was known to show off her washboard stomach in bikinis in Steps' heyday in the late '90s
Claire burst onto the scene with the
Tragedy band in 1997 as a tiny size eight, and often showed off her
washboard stomach in string bikini tops.
shot up to a size 20 at her heaviest after they disbanded in 2001, but
planned to slim down in time for her wedding to Reece Hill, the father
of her two children.
slimmed down to fit a size 10 wedding dress in November 2008 and her
plight was documented on BBC Three's Claire Richards: My Big Fat
Claire released a fitness DVD, Five Step Fat Attack, that year, but again piled on the pounds and shot up to a size 16.
Early last year she slimmed down again to a size 10, but by December had shot up again to a size 16, saying the size was too hard to maintain.
Fluctuating: Claire seen in 2008 – when she put out a fitness dvd – before and after slimming down from a size 20 to a size 10
Claire told Closer magazine in December she was happy with the way she looked.
'This Christmas is about celebrating my fab year. I finally feel my weight isn’t the first thing on everyone’s lips – it’s all about Steps and where I’m heading in the future.
'I’m happy the way I am – I’m just me. If the likes of Diana Dors and Marilyn Monroe can be curvy but still sexy, I’ll happily have them as role models!'
She added: 'I desperately want the focus on my voice than my size. Keeping the weight off it where I struggle.
'To stay a size 10, I was having to think about dieting all the time, and that's no way to live.'